As of late morning today, shares of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV 1.64%) are down some 9.4% compared with where they closed trading last Friday, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the concert promoter was sued for trademark infringement over the use of "Coachella" in an event name.
Live Nation's Ticketmaster is currently advertising Coachella Day One 22, a New Year's Eve concert being produced by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians that will be held at the Coachella Crossroads venue in Coachella, Calif.
It's being sued by Goldenvoice, the production company that puts on the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival for "intentionally trading on the goodwill" of the 20-year old music festival.
In addition to Live Nation, Goldenvoice is also suing Bluehost, the web host provider for the domain name coachellacrossroads.com. The Indian nation itself is not a party to the suit because it has claimed sovereign immunity, but Goldenvoice says it may add it later. It notes it has sent several cease and desist letters to no avail.
The lawsuit contends that "Twenty-Nine Palms has gone to great lengths to imitate" the plaintiffs' Coachella and its associated trademarks.
Goldenvoice says it has no objections to Twenty-Nine Palms holding a festival or hosting events at its venue, but it can't cause the possibility of consumer confusion that the two shows are related, so they need to use a different event and venue name.
The Coachella Music Festival has been put on each year since 1999, but in-person attendance was suspended last year and this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. A virtual festival was held instead. It is scheduled to return to live performances in 2022 across two weekends in April.
It looks like Goldenvoice is trying to cast as wide a net as possible with its lawsuits without snaring the actual alleged entity causing the violation, the Indian nation. It likely also highlights the long-running rivalry between Goldenvoice's owner, Anschutz Entertainment Group, and Live Nation, the world's largest entertainment company.
Goldenvoice is seeking damages for infringement and unfair competition, alleging the defendants are intentionally promoting "a directly competitive live music event."
Live Nation recently noted that as of mid-October, more than 22 million tickets had been sold for its events next year, and concerts are up double digits from 2019.